Northern Ireland

Ronan Hughes parents' online safety plea

Ronan Hughes Image copyright Mid Ulster Mail
Image caption Ronan Hughes was tricked into posting pictures online

The mother and father of County Tyrone schoolboy Ronan Hughes have urged parents to start a conversation with their children about online safety.

Ronan, who was 17 and from Coalisland, took his own life last week.

It is believed he was tricked into posting pictures online, and police are investigating whether he was being blackmailed.

A special meeting was held at Ronan's school in Donaghmore on Wednesday night at his parents' request.

Police and online safety experts addressed worried parents.

Geraldine Donnelly, the principal of St Joseph's Grammar which Ronan attended, said parents need to talk to their children about online dangers.

"The purpose of the meeting this evening was to fulfil the wishes of Ronan's mum and dad that we get the message out very quickly, very, very strongly about how you go about ensuring that you're safe online," she said.

"If I can repeat Theresa and Gerard's message, it's about starting a conversation with your child, starting it early and have a conversation that will save a life some day."

On Tuesday, Ms Donnelly said that Ronan may have been blackmailed by "some international element".

The schoolboy was buried in Clonoe on Tuesday.

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